Juvarra, Filippo (1678-1736)

"Juvarra, Filippo (1678-1736)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 27th April 2011

Filippo Juvarra, Italian architect and scene-designer, was born in Messina in 1678 and died in Madrid in 1736. After a period of formation in Sicily as a member of artisan family of goldsmiths and chisellers, he moved to Rome in 1703 where studied architecture of Carlo and Francesco Fontana. In 1706 Juvarra won a contest organized by Clement XI and became a member of an Academy of San Luca. In 1708 his first important work and the only realized in Rome was created: the chapel of Antamori in the church of San Gerolamo della Carita'.

At the same time he projected numerous machines and mechanisms for the ceremonies and celebrations and worked as a scene-designer for the private theatres (in particular for the little theatre of the house of Ottoboni) creating the new type of the space vision.

The period of most intensive activity as an architect began in 1714, when after a sojourn in Messina, he moved to Piedmont where Victor Amadeus II of Savoy nominated Juvarra the first architect of the court. The fame obtained here thanks to his talent and capacities determined his further activity at the richest noble and royal courts of Europe.
juvarra casino juvarra basilica
Among numerous created or projected works for the capital of the Savoy kingdom should be noticed: Basilica di Superga (1715-1718) (see above) built on the high hill over the Turin; the facade of the church Santa Cristina (1715-1718);the project for the 3rd enlargement of Turin to the west according to the orthogonal system introduced by Vitozzi and Castellamonte: the project including construction of palazzo Martini di Cigala (1716), of Quartieri Militari (1716-1728) and later of the church del Carmine (1732-1736), where the space is concentrated around the central hall with the scenographic effect of light falling from the high.

Exploring more and more the original Italian and French traditions, Juvarra realized the big stair- case and a facade of Palazzo Madama (1718-1721) and the Stupinigi's house of hunt (1729-1731) (see above).

In 1735 the architect was invited to Madrid by Philip the 5th, for who were executed the projects for the Palazzo Reale, Granja di Sant'Ildefonso and Palazzo di Aranjuez, built after the death of Juvarra by G.B.Sacchetti and other pupils.

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